nytvf new york television festival

Streaming service joins NYTVF partners Comedy Central, IFC, truTV, Bento Box, Just For Laughs

The New York Television Festival Festival has added NBCUniversal’s Seeso comedy streaming service to its lineup of partners seeking fresh and funny indie talent.

Seeso, the Peacock’s $4-per-month ad-free channel that launched publicly last month, has teamed with the NYTVF to offer the Seeso Comedy Award: an opportunity for independent TV creators to develop a series for the subscription service. The pact marks the first time the NYTVF has partnered with an over-the-top service to develop original content.

“Our goal is to not only get things piloted, but ordered to series,” NYTVF founder and executive director Terence Gray said.

Seeso joins previously announced NYTVF partners Bento Box Entertainment, Comedy Central, IFC and truTV, which also will offer development opportunities to comedy creators this year. Additionally, the NYTVF extended its long-term partnership with Montreal-based comedy festival producer Just For Laughs to solicit TV comedy submissions.

“It’s thrilling that our initial slate includes partners representing points of view across the spectrum — from traditional networks to platforms and studio/production companies,” said Gray.

To qualify for Seeso award consideration, comedy projects must be entered into the NYTVF’s annual Independent Pilot Competition by June 30 and be named an IPC “Official Selection.” Pilots may be 4-60 minutes in length.

“There is an absolute budgetary commitment Seeso is putting up for the program they pick out of the festival,” said Gray, though he declined to provide dollar figures.

The NYTVF’s flagship fest this year will take place Oct. 24-29 in Manhattan. The event showcases indie pilots alongside network TV and digital screenings, premieres, cast and creator Q&As, and other events for artists, industry execs and fans.

Additionally, the NYTVF TV Town Hall events — presented in partnership with Seeso — will launch on Feb. 16 in New York City, with subsequent events slated for Feb. 22 and 23 in L.A. and a Chicago event with a date to be announced. The free outreach events will screen award-winning NYTVF work from past years and give independent creators the chance to rub elbows with TV and digital execs.

Seeso’s content includes licensed TV shows, including “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “The Office” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” as well as original programming. Original series include “The UCB Show” featuring Amy Poehler and other Upright Citizens Brigade troupe founders Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser; animated series “HarmonQuest” from “Community” creator Dan Harmon; and stand-up series “Night Train” from Wyatt Cenac (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”).

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